Are Your Social Media Habits Harming Your Psyche?
Are Your Social Media Habits Harming Your Psyche? Are Your Social Media Habits Harming Your Psyche? Are Your Social Media Habits Harming Your Psyche?

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Are Your Social Media Habits Harming Your Psyche?

Posted on: June 18th, 2018 by admin No Comments

Are Your Social Media Habits Harming Your Psyche?

Most people think of apps and websites like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter as fun ways to connect with their friends and people around the world. However, many studies consistently show that extended social media use can have a negative effect on your mental health. Many people are not even aware of how their social media habits are harming them.

With social media platforms readily available on our smart phones all the time it is common for people to mindlessly scroll through these apps several times throughout the day. They may spend a few minutes or even hours on these sites without realizing how much time they’ve really spent online. These kinds of apps are purposefully designed to be addictive and unsurprisingly, people find it hard to tear themselves away from social media in spite of how it affects them psychologically.

Children and teens may be affected even more on social media if they become victims of online bullying by their peers. Although adults may be less likely to be bullied, they can still experience significant harm from spending too much time on social media. Psychologists have seen many signs of depression and anxiety related to social media use and recommend that people limit their time on these sites.

Social Media Addiction

Websites like Facebook were created with the intention by designers to get people to keep checking the site multiple times and feel “addicted” to it. This is accomplished by using techniques similar to slot machines in casinos where users don’t know whether a notification they’ve received will be meaningful to them or not. Users will end up constantly checking the app to see if they’ve received a like, comment or message that will make them feel validated.

Although mental health experts haven’t yet agreed that internet addiction is a legitimate illness, there are many signs indicating that social media can produce addiction-like symptoms. Researchers have found that some people show certain symptoms with excessive use of Facebook such as neglect of personal life, escapism, mental preoccupation, tolerance and concealing the addictive behavior.

Interestingly, people who are hooked on social media actually do experience a kind of withdrawal when they don’t have access to their usual apps. They undergo small but measurable physiological effects when they stop using social media that are similar to addiction withdrawal. Because social media is addictive it can cause the same type of negative emotional and mental consequences associated with other addictions.

Depression and Social Media

Research continually proves that the more people use social media, the more unhappy they become. One study showed that Facebook use was linked directly to lower moment to moment happiness and less life satisfaction overall. Experts believe that this is because social media apps like Facebook create a feeling of social isolation rather than the connection that it is supposed to produce.

Studies have revealed that the more time people spend on these websites the more socially isolated they begin to feel. People perceive themselves as isolated because they tend to engage in social comparison with their peers on Facebook as they scroll through their feed. Comparison with others tends to fuel not only feelings of isolation but depression and anxiety.

Social media can also trigger feelings of jealousy and envy which can be very bad for our mental health as well. Research shows that jealous feelings are very common when people use social media can make the sites a breeding ground for resentful feelings. The envy that sites such as Facebook induce can further cause depression among users.

Part of the addictive nature of social media is that people keep coming back to these sites believing that it will make them feel better when it actually worsens their emotional state. People are under the illusion that using Facebook will make them feel more connected, ease their boredom or lift their mood when in reality it triggers many negative feelings. Social media sites also tend to reduce actual social interaction rather than make people more social which can be harmful to their well-being.

Even though social media can be a useful way to connect with old friends, keep in touch with family members or have fun interactions with people you know, too much time on social media can become harmful. Psychologists suggest minimizing the amount of time spent on social media sites like Facebook, Snapchat and Instagram. Studies have also found that taking a break from these sites can have a beneficial boost on a person’s psychological well-being.

If you find that your social media habits are making you depressed then take some time off and focus on in-person interactions with friends. A healthy social life with plenty of face to face contact is much more likely to boost your mood than any social media interactions online.

Alcohol Abuse Has Nearly Doubled for Women

Posted on: June 16th, 2018 by admin No Comments

Alcohol Abuse Has Nearly Doubled for Women

Addiction to alcohol is a problem that can affect people from all demographics and all walks of life. In the past alcoholism has traditionally been considered a “man’s problem” because of higher numbers of men with the disease. However, recently the number of women struggling with alcohol abuse has skyrocketed and they are rapidly catching up to the amount of men who develop addiction.

Unfortunately, alcoholism is often under-reported in women because they may worry about the stigma or try to hide their problem from the public. The number of women suffering from an alcohol dependency has grown to 4 million, representing about 2.6 women in the U.S. However, as many as 5.6 million women currently drink alcohol in a way that threatens their health and safety.

Recent studies have shown that the rate of women suffering from alcohol abuse and dependence has increased 83.7 percent between 2003 and 2013. Experts worry that this dramatic increase may represent a public health crisis for women who are engaging in high risk drinking. These historic increases point to a growing problem among women and how they cope with stress.

Working Women and Stress

Experts believe that steady rise in alcohol abuse among women may be related stress and anxiety associated with a work-life balance. Reports show that women who are working today are unhappier than their mothers were 40 years ago. Women also tend to be unhappier than men now when they actually reported being happier than men according to studies in the early 70s.

One reason that stress and unhappiness has increased may correspond with the growing work week among Americans. Between the years of 1979 and 2006, the typical American work week increased by about 11 hours. More recent studies showed that only about 30 percent of American fathers contributed equally to women in child care.

The increasing work hours and lack of support in caring for children at home may have contributed to growing stress levels for modern women. Mothers who work full time may find it hard to balance their career and also care for their family without getting enough help from their spouses or other family members. These added stresses may become overwhelming for women who look for ways to cope with their problems.

In addition to all these stress factors there has also been an increase in marketing from the alcohol industry that is directed toward women. In an effort to gain more customers in the female demographic, alcohol brands have created ads targeting women by persuading them that alcohol is a solution for stress. Sweet flavored and fizzy drinks are often marketed toward women in single serving cocktails.

How Alcohol Affects Women

Part of the reason that the steep rise in alcohol abuse among women is so alarming is that they can experience more health problems related to drinking than men. Women tend to be more prone to alcohol-related health issues because of their different hormones and metabolisms. Women are physiologically different than men and as a result can be more vulnerable to negative consequences from drinking.

One factor is that women tend to have more body fat than men do which can make it harder to dilute alcohol through fluid in the body. It is also harder for women to metabolize and break down alcohol which means that a larger proportion of the drug will enter a woman’s bloodstream compared to a man. Intoxicating effects of alcohol can also set in faster when a woman is experiencing higher estrogen levels.

The rise in alcohol abuse among women has already led to increasing health problems for the female demographic. Alcohol-related emergency room visits among women between ages 25 and 34 have been increasing in large numbers. These types of visits usually occur after years of repeated alcohol misuse which indicates that women in these age groups have severe addictions.

In addition to having more damaging health consequences from drinking, women are also more likely to hide their behavior. There is a much greater cultural stigma for women who drink heavily than for men which may make it difficult for them to come forward and get help. Women’s alcohol problems in general tend to be more hidden and kept underground which is dangerous for their recovery.

Experts are growing more concerned over the steady and continuing rise of alcohol addiction among women. While men still tend to suffer more often from alcoholism, women are quickly approaching similar numbers. It is important for women to have resources for support and feel comfortable in reaching out for help.

If you think that you or someone you love may be suffering from an issue with alcohol abuse or dependency then contact a rehab treatment center in your local area.

Cocaine is Surging

Posted on: June 11th, 2018 by Serenity Malibu Rehab No Comments

Cocaine is Surging

Most people now are aware of the serious problem with opioids we have in the U.S. but other drugs are also on the rise. Cocaine abuse has increased dramatically as well in recent years and is causing serious health issues throughout the country. The rise in cocaine use and deaths related to cocaine laced with opioids could be the next phase of the drug epidemic.

The DEA has said that the signs of cocaine use are troubling and indicate an overwhelming comeback of the drug. Cocaine is now the second most common cause of drug related death in the U.S. behind opioid overdose. It has particularly become a problem in the African American community where it causes more deaths than heroin.

Although more attention has been paid to the opioid epidemic, the reality is that there are multiple drug problems in the U.S. that need to be addressed. The government will need to focus on more than one drug at a time in order to improve the nation’s health, reduce overdose deaths and provide recovery services to those in need. Cocaine abuse is a growing problem that will require some work to reverse and prevent abuse rates from continuing to increase.

Increased Supply Leading to More Demand

Surprisingly, cocaine was not much of a problem about ten years ago when the rates of abuse fell 50 percent between 2006 and 2010. However, since 2013 Colombia has been producing more of the drug and their cocaine supply has climbed to a record high. A peace settlement that included payments to farmers who stop growing coca led to more farmers actually growing the drug in order to qualify.

As a result of the sudden boom in supply, cocaine prices fell dramatically which led to increasing rates of abuse in the U.S. With high availability and low prices for cocaine, it is not surprising that more people are getting addicted and the drug is making a comeback after years of decreasing rates. Unfortunately with increased use also comes more health problems and cocaine related deaths for abusers.

Cocaine addiction in many ways is a more complicated problem than opioid abuse. It can be more difficult to treat cocaine addiction at least with an immediate solution to prevent overdose. There is no medication to provide a substitute for cocaine the way that there is for opioids with substances like methadone and suboxone.

Other programs that are designed to help decrease deaths related to addiction such as needle exchanges would not help cocaine abusers. Cocaine is a drug that is rarely injected and is most often consumed intranasally or through snorting a powder. In that sense, existing programs such as medication or syringe exchanges will do nothing to stem the growing tide of abuse or reduce deaths.

Growing Problems Related to Cocaine

The number of overdose deaths involving cocaine in 2015 was the highest it had been since 2006 when cocaine abuse had first started to decrease. Research also showed that the number of Americans who admitted to trying cocaine increased 61 percent between 2013 and 2015. Such a dramatic increase is likely due to the spike in supply of the drug that began in 2013 in Colombia.

Rates of cocaine abuse are especially high in certain areas of the U.S. such as New Hampshire where 10 percent of young adults used cocaine in 2015. Currently, cocaine trafficking in Colombia has reached record levels and is expected to continue increasing. Efforts to remove coca farms by the government have largely been thwarted by local farmers.

Another issue with cocaine abuse has been the tendency for dealers to lace cocaine with other drugs without the buyer’s knowledge. Cocaine laced with fentanyl, a highly potent opioid, has led to a number of opioid overdoses throughout the U.S. Buyers who have no tolerance for opioids and are not aware that there is a powerful opioid in their cocaine can easily overdose.

Toxicology reports of overdose deaths have more frequently showed fentanyl as being in the victim’s system. In certain states like Connecticut, deaths involving cocaine and fentanyl combined increased 420 percent in the last three years. These alarming numbers indicate that buyers are largely unaware that the drugs they are buying are laced with the dangerous opioid.

The dramatic increase in cocaine use is something that needs to be addressed alongside the opioid epidemic. The two coincide in the case of the deadly cocaine and fentanyl combinations that are being sold on the street. Cocaine addiction in itself is already a serious health issue that is negatively affecting the country.

It is important for the government to find a way to decrease the surging cocaine supply and provide more resources for awareness, prevention and recovery so that cocaine addiction does not reach epidemic proportions.

Suicide Prevention Hotlines

Posted on: June 9th, 2018 by Serenity Malibu Rehab No Comments

Suicide Prevention Hotlines

Mental health issues can affect people anytime and in all walk of life and different demographics. The recent suicides of both designer Kate Spade and chef Anthony Bourdain are reminders that mental illness is a serious issue in this country. Even successful people can struggle with feelings of depression and without enough support may tragically take their own life.

After news of these suicides people are often sharing links to crisis support and suicide hotlines in order to provide help for those who might have suicidal thoughts or feelings. Crisis intervention organizations can be life-saving for those who need someone to reach out to when they feeling overwhelmed. Access to suicide prevention lifelines is crucial in the U.S. where millions of people suffer from depression at any given time.

Even though suicide hotlines are critical, other resources are also important in order to help people in our country maintain good mental health. People who have severe depression and suicidal thoughts can be saved temporarily by a hotline but they will need more than a few moments of help to overcome their issues. Long term mental health treatment is the most beneficial solution for depression and suicidal feelings.

Getting People into Treatment

The main role of a suicide hotline is to be there for a person during a moment of crisis when they feel that they have no reason to live. Volunteers working at a suicide hotline are specifically trained in helping people who are experiencing this type of crisis. They are generally caring people whose primary goal is to listen to your problems, provide whatever help that they can and direct you to further services.

Although suicide hotline volunteers are generally trained to direct people toward longer term solutions and plans, it can sometimes be difficult for people to get access to the care that they need. Insurers don’t always cover mental health treatment and not all insurance companies are required to help those suffering from mental illnesses. Unfortunately only a small fraction of people who need treatment for mental illnesses like depression and anxiety actually receive these services.

Not only is it important for people to have suicide hotlines for prevention and help, it is also necessary for them to be directed to a treatment plan that they can easily access and afford. Mental health treatment is crucial for people who are having suicidal thoughts because it represents one of the most severe symptoms of depression. Without long term care, calling a suicide hotline is only a temporary fix that may not resolve suicidal thoughts or prevent them from occurring again in the future.

Suicide Prevention

Providing support for people with depression is a crucial element in preventing suicide. It is important for people to be aware of the signs and symptoms that someone may be contemplating suicide. Suicide hotlines, mental health treatment and support and care from friends and family are all crucial in preventing a tragedy.

As awareness of suicide increases with recent tragic public deaths, it may influence people to learn more about the warning signs of suicide. Someone who is suicidal may indicate in subtle ways that they are feeling this way. Some of the signs include:

  • Talking about wanting to die
  • Talking about feelings of emptiness, shame, or that there are no solutions to their problems
  • Increased substance abuse and self-destructive behavior
  • Researching or preparing suicide methods such as buying a gun or stockpiling pills
  • Withdrawing from friends and family or spending a lot of time alone
  • Making a will or saying goodbye to friends and family

People that exhibit any of these signs may be thinking about or planning to take their own life. If you notice any of these symptoms then it is important to talk to your loved one or stage a crisis intervention if necessary. Not everyone who plans to take their life will feel compelled to call a crisis hotline so it is crucial for them to have support from the people in their lives.

It is helpful to understand that at the root of suicidal thoughts or behavior is often a very serious mental illness. Depression is usually linked to suicide but other mental illnesses such as bipolar disorder may be the underlying cause. Getting a diagnosis can be a helpful first step in addressing someone’s thoughts of suicide.

Certain people have a higher risk of suicide such as those who have a family history of suicide, are exposed to suicidal behavior or have had a prior suicide attempt. Knowing the risk factors, being aware of any warning signs and finding resources for mental health treatment can help prevent you or someone you know from taking their own life. Suicide hotlines can be a useful first step, but ultimately long term treatment is necessary to truly prevent suicide.

Side Effects of Opioid Abuse

Posted on: May 24th, 2018 by Serenity Malibu Rehab No Comments

Side Effects of Opioid Abuse

The nation’s opioid epidemic has taken an alarming toll on the health of our citizens that are struggling with addiction. Opioids have a high risk of overdose and have led to thousands of deaths in recent years as the problem continues to increase. Abusing opioids can either be deadly or have serious effects on a person’s mental and physical well-being.

Opioid abuse can lead to a number of short term and long term side effects that can be dangerous for the user. People who use their opioid medication the way it is prescribed may have a few reactions to the drug but people who take a higher dose will experience much more severe effects. Someone who abuses opioids regularly over a long period of time will start to see a negative impact on how they feel physically and mentally.

One of the worst side effects of opioid abuse is the possibility of overdose if someone accidentally takes a higher dose than they can handle. This happens all too often to opioid abusers and they are not always able to recover from an overdose. It is important to get immediate help and have access to medications that can reverse the effects of an overdose.

Short Term Effects

People who take opioids will experience a few immediate effects even when they take a regular dose. They will notice that their feelings of pain diminish significantly but they also might feel drowsy, confused or experience a sense of euphoria. People can quickly become addicted to the feeling of being relaxed and euphoric when they take a dose of opioids and might take a higher dose to feel more of the effects.

Abusers who take more than the recommended dose of opioids can begin to experience many negative short term side effects. They might feel depressed, lethargic or have frequent mood swings. These are some of the more common short term side effects of opioids:

  • Constipation
  • Sweating
  • Dry mouth
  • Lightheadedness
  • Flushed face
  • Constricted pupils
  • Lack of coordination
  • Sleeping too much or too little

People’s bodies react to opioids differently so they may experience some of these symptoms depending on their physiology and how much of the drug they are taking. Short term side effects can lead to discomfort but if they progress into an addiction these problems can become more serious and start to affect them mentally as well.

Long Term Effects of Opioid Abuse

It does not take long for opioid abusers to become addicted to the drug because they will constantly be chasing the feeling of euphoria that they had the first time that they took it. As their tolerance increases their dose will increase and they will start to experience more serious side effects. The longer a person takes opioids the more damage they are causing to their mind and their body.

These are some of the common long term effects of abusing opioids-

  • Skin abscesses
  • Respiratory depression
  • Weakened immune system
  • Impotence
  • Brain damage and loss of cognitive abilities
  • Dental problems
  • Mental health conditions like depression
  • Confusion, irritability
  • Loss of appetite
  • Panic attacks

It is common for people with addictions to begin developing symptoms of a mental illness like depression or anxiety and this can occur frequently with opioid abusers. Someone with an addiction to opioids often experiences mood swings and emotional instability which can drive them to abuse more drugs. People with long term mental health effects will need to get treatment for both their addiction and their mental illness.

Recognizing Symptoms of an Overdose

The more dire side effect of opioid abuse is an overdose and that is why it is important to be able to recognize the signs and symptoms of one to prevent it from becoming fatal. Someone who is experiencing an overdose may have:

  • Loss of consciousness
  • Slow, shallow or erratic breathing
  • Skin turning bluish purple or gray
  • Slow or erratic pulse
  • Choking sounds, vomiting
  • Limp body and pale face

If it looks like someone is experiencing an overdose it is important to get help immediately or call 911 so that a first responder can use naloxone or a similar medication to reverse the effects. People who overdose can still survive if the symptoms are caught early and they are treated effectively.

Whether opioids are abused for a short period of time or over a long period of months or years, they can still be very dangerous and have a negative impact on person’s health. People who abuse opioids for many years are more likely to see complex health problems and mental conditions that are difficult to recover from. If you or someone you know has been abusing opioids it is important to get help as soon as possible to prevent the negative side effects of the drug from causing issues in their life.

Serenity Malibu rehab is a luxury addiction treatment center located in beautiful Malibu, California.
(424) 835-6094
6021 GALAHAD DR Malibu, CA 90265 US
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